Mar.20, 2014

Innovation in 3d printing started to show up from the 1990s with the real surge in the activity around this technology happening in the last 5 years. For those who are interested in 3D printing and its patents, Gridlogics Technologies, a software products company has shared some interesting results from a recent report on analysis of patenting activity around 3D-Printing from 1990-Current.

This report categorizes and graphically analyzes research trends around 3D printing and the processes involved and its applications from various perspectives and highlights the key companies involved. The analysis and charts in the report was generated using Patent iNSIGHT Pro & PatSeer patent research and analysis platforms.

Top Companies

The report finds, patenting linked to 3D printing has sky-rocketed since year 2000. The top applicants are 3D Systems, Stratsys, MIT, HP and Hitachi, and 946 of the 2635 records were filed in the US. 498 were filed in Japan and the third place is Canada, 452 records.

The report also summarizes key parameters of Top 15 companies such as filing trend, top inventors in each company and coverage of underlying patent families. Top 15 Inventors are listed as well with filing trend and key associated companies. Inventor James F. Bredt is listed as No.1 with totally 21 patents assigned to MIT, 3D Systems and Z Corp.

Company activity across technologies, materials and applications

The reports shows research activity of companies across different technologies. Stratasys being the pioneers in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) have the most number of records in FDM. Materialise also has a large research portfolio in FDM.

Objet Ltd (now Stratasys) is the most active in photopolymers, and Massachusetts Inst and Univ Northwestern are the only research institutes out of top 15 companies active across different material types.

Another interesting fact is that tissue Engineering is the most researched application area focused by most of the companies. And Boeing leads the record count for defense and aerospace industry.

In the portfolio analysis for key 3D printing companies, the report reveals that 3D Systems focuses its applications in Tissue Engineering, and aluminium and epoxy are the most widely used materials in the company. Stratasys focuses more on mechanical applications, and thermoplastic is widely used material type. And Materialise NV focuses more on medical applications as compared to other application areas.

3D printing – Materials vs Technologies

The report shows that stereolithography is the most widely used technology across all material types and selective laser sintering has wide applications across ceramics, metals.

Landscape for technologies used for 3D printing

Gridlogics also created a contour map representing different materials used for the production of 3D objects.

Another correlation map of key 3 companies across different technologies shows that Stratasys and Materialise focus more on Stereolithography and Fused Deposition Modeling. It can also be seen that Stratasys has more number of records for Computer Numerical Control as compared to 3D Systems and Materialise.

The 44 pages report has more interesting charts that analyzes trends, the process and applications around 3D printing. It is available for free on website here.

Posted in 3D Printing Technology


Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive